When considering your website’s performance, it’s important to understand the commonalities between Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and User Experience (UX) and how they compliment each other.
What is CRO, and what is UX?
Testing different versions of web pages to improve conversions by deploying the “winning” version is known as as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), also known as A/B or Multivariate testing and website optimization. Most people are familiar with the term “A/B testing” which refers to tests that compare a variation to a control. Multivariate testing goes beyond that, testing multiple variations at a given time. Both A/B and multivariate testing allows CRO strategists to find optimization opportunities backed by user behavior data.
On the other hand, the term UX stands for User Experience, meaning how a user interacts with and emotionally responds to a website. UX is an important component of any optimization process because improving lead generation starts with improving the user’s experience on the site.
All of this may sound extensive, but a CRO team can deliver testing ideas, optimization opportunities, and friction points on your site in a digestible way. CRO teams can put together robust UX and data audits or smaller outlines detailing the next steps needed to get your site to where you need it to be.
How can you leverage a CRO/UX team?
CRO teams help companies save time and money. This is especially valuable to teams who operate on budgets, such as paid media teams, because CRO and testing do not require any additional paid media efforts. CRO teams can help to improve ROI since UX reduces user friction and thus wasted spend. Marketing teams spend time and money to drive users to their websites, so having an optimal website experience is imperative.
This optimal user experience isn’t limited to certain pages on a website either. UX optimization extends to landing pages and even emails. This is why it’s so important for CRO teams to work closely with paid media teams, because paid media strategists are constantly monitoring their spend and looking to increase their ad click rates to send the user to a dedicated landing page. Once the user lands on that landing page, their experience with that page matters. If they encounter too much friction, they will leave… which ultimately creates wasted spend for the paid media team.
Some of the more common KPIs (key performance indicators) that a CRO strategist may target for paid media landing page tests include improving:
- Bounce rate (time on page)
- Scroll depth, clicks on buttons
- Completion of forms and more.
Moreover, CRO strategists can focus on improving UX without a measurable KPI (key performance indicator), meaning they focus on improving the overall experience of the user on the website or landing page with an aim to gain trust, build brand authority, create returning visitors and for a generally pleasant session experience.
These factors may not fall under “measurable” KPIs but they do affect business KPIs albeit indirectly.
CRO strategists work closely with digital analysts to find opportunities by dissecting the page performance and user behavior data. This data feeds into web analytics platforms such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics among others.
So how do CRO strategists know what kind of improvement a page needs? Or what the industry standards are for user experience? One of the many responsibilities of a CRO strategist is to stay up to date with industry standards and to have an “always learning” mentality. This allows the strategist to not only look for relevant opportunities but also to back up any of their ideas with industry baselines and tested data.
Let’s Get Started
By this point, you’re probably wondering what you can do right now to kick start your optimizations. Well, you’re in luck, because Acronym’s CRO team is ready to share paid media landing page best practices.
1. Keep landing pages short. Because the audience for paid media may be visiting from their phone, on the go, and they may even be unsure if they’re interested in your product at all, you want to keep the page short and sweet and straight to the point. Scroll depth – no more than 2x the initial height – Maria include as general statement.
2. Add important buttons and forms above the fold. Ensure that your CTA (call-to-action) buttons are prominently placed above the fold. These CTAs will capture the users attention when they first land on the page, and even if they do not interact with it on the first pass, they will know its placement and are more likely to scroll back up to click. You may also consider making your CTA “sticky” where it follows the user as s/he scrolls on the page.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “the fold” it simply refers to the area of the page that is visible on the first load without any scrolling. The space “below the fold” is what can be seen after the user starts to scroll down. This goes for desktop, mobile and tablet views.
3. Keep your copy concise, but don’t divulge too much information. This one can become a tricky balancing act. For paid media landing pages it’s best to give the user valuable information without losing their interest. This means that you’ll want to give just enough information to peak their interest and motivate them to become a lead to find out more information. Including keywords to match whatever leads them to landing page – ad copy – consistent with what was in the ad.
4. Don’t forget about the hero image. The hero image or hero banner can be used to set the tone for the entire landing page. Do you want to target a certain audience? Find an image that reflects that audience to create a connection. Do you want to highlight an incentive? Make sure you include it in your hero image space. The same goes for creating brand authority. Hero image and/or banner space can be used to showcase brand colors, brand logos and other valuable marketing assets that reinforce user trust and brand awareness.
We’re here to help.
Your website should be constantly growing, improving, and changing to meet your users’ needs.
By analyzing user behavior on your website or landing pages, you’ll begin to detect patterns that help you better understand these needs. However, understanding their needs and meeting them are two very different things. Establishing a solid analytics foundation/set up is the key to success. You can’t measure anything if the analytics platform is broken. Optimization is about continuous feedback, build out test, learn from it, build out future tests from the learnings.
Thankfully, a CRO and UX team can both analyze your users’ behaviors, identify the patterns and address their needs, all while testing different ideas to hone in on what works and what doesn’t. Furthermore, an objective UX/CRO team can work with any development and design team to optimize your site based on their findings. Let us do an audit for you today so you can increase your conversion rates and meet or surpass your company KPIs.